When violence is a good thing

Jun 22, 2016 by

I don’t always understand our world. It’s a tough, complicated mess of lives and loves, fears and failures. And core to our world and news about it these days is violence; which comes in an ever-increasing...

[read more]

Can we change the climate?

Jun 7, 2016 by

We humans have always been fascinated by the possibility of changing the weather. Nearly every ancient civilization had weather gods — the Romans, Greeks, Aztecs, Maori and Canaanites. Sacrifices were...

[read more]

Being fully present

Apr 25, 2016 by

I ate my best apple several years ago. It was a large mottled Gala, and juice ran down my chin. It deserves the title of ‘best’ not for its quality, but because more than any meal I’ve eaten, that apple...

[read more]

Doing something in an out-of-control world

Mar 14, 2016 by

A month ago I borrowed a chain saw and pruned our church trees. If you want to know why, I need to tell you about my job. I work Saturday night to Thursday night, which means that my Friday night is your...

[read more]

Pluto and anxiety-free science

Aug 4, 2015 by

All you in the heavens, praise the Lord. . . . Sun, moon, and all you brilliant stars above: praise God! — Psalm 148 I’m writing this while watching NASA reveal new and stunning close-up photos of Pluto....

[read more]

Is it still possible for white people to love?

Jun 26, 2015 by

What happened in Charleston is evil. I’m wrestling with this question: Is God’s salvation potent enough to dismantle this present evil? This tragedy is actually a series of tragedies, a network of sin...

[read more]

How to speak the truth in love

May 29, 2015 by

Have you ever found yourself unable to speak your truth in an anxious conversation? You’re not alone. We might hold back speaking because we’re afraid what someone else might think. Or perhaps we hold back...

[read more]

Understanding Baltimore

May 6, 2015 by

We live in a world where news about the news is almost as important as the news. Take for instance Baltimore. On April 26, Freddy Gray was killed while in police custody and over the weekend charges were...

[read more]

Who defines the common good?

Feb 26, 2015 by

Who determines what is in the “common good” and “national interest”? These terms are themselves so flexible as to be rendered nearly useless. Depending on the definer and their...

[read more]

How does race work?

Jan 27, 2015 by

Chances are you aren’t blatantly racist. I wouldn’t give much of my time if you tried to convince me I was. But does race still work in unique and particular ways to affect how we see and experience the...

[read more]

What does ‘missional’ mean, anyway?

Jan 6, 2015 by

“Missional” is a strange new word I, and others in Houston, use a lot these days. But what do we mean when we say “missional”? For starters, it might help to contrast it with the classic...

[read more]

Ten ways Christmas is still relevant

Dec 12, 2014 by

Angels, flying reindeer, and virgins giving birth — oh my! You might be forgiven if you didn’t think Christmas was still relevant. But before you discard this venerable holiday and her celebrators into...

[read more]

Anabaptist readings: Christ the center

Jul 15, 2014 by

Each and every person is formed by something. Our history, family, culture and life decisions (both good and bad) shape us to be who we are today. We don’t get to choose whether we are formed. But we do get...

[read more]

Pitching the perfect sermon

May 7, 2014 by

Pitching to the boys on my son’s coach-pitch baseball team in Houston is nerve wracking. There’s little in my week I concentrate more on or expect perfection at: I want them all to get a hit! And it...

[read more]

The impact of shame in Eve’s story

Mar 18, 2014 by

A reflection on Gen. 3:1-7 It’s not hard to imagine how the seeds of shame were planted in Eve’s heart. There’s much in her early story that would leave the best of us feeling flawed: that lingering...

[read more]

20 ways to welcome people to church

Aug 23, 2013 by

How do you welcome visitors in worship and make them feel at home? Not by grabbing and “shh” -ing them, that’s for sure! I arrived slightly late to the sanctuary as a visitor one day, having struggled...

[read more]